The Charlotte owners of three bull terriers that attacked and seriously injured a 7-year-old boy have been charged with violating city animal control codes and are scheduled to appear in court later this month.
Jose Banegas has been identified as the owner of one the dogs and Clarisa Guerrero was cited as the owner of the other two. The owners received criminal citations for allowing their dogs to attack another human and for not keeping the dogs properly restrained, said Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control officials.
Both offenses are Class 3 misdemeanors that could result in “one to 20 days of active, intermediate or community punishment.”
The three terriers were euthanized on Sept. 4 and sent to a state lab for rabies testing. All three tested negative for rabies, officials said.
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The attack occurred about 4 p.m. on Sept 2, in the 700 block of Rome Court. The victim, Noah Bertrand, required dozens of stitches in his forehead and later underwent cosmetic surgery at Levine Children’s Hospital. He is a second grader in the French immersion program at Waddell Language Academy.
Police say the three unrestrained dogs came out of a nearby wooded area and began attacking Noah after he got off a school bus in front of his home and began walking toward his mother, Elizabeth Bertrand. She immediately began beating and kicking the dogs off of her son and was subsequently bitten.
Animal control officers were able to find the dogs, which had returned to their owners’ residence. Investigators say the owners admitted the three had been loose. It’s unclear how the dogs got loose. Witnesses verified that they were the same dogs involved in the attack.
Cindy Georgopoulos, a Charlotte restaurant owner, told the Observer that she thinks the same dogs bit her father, who lives nearby, over Memorial Day weekend.
“My Dad was walking out to the car and the three dogs jumped on him,” said Georgopoulos. “He fought them off, and my Mom ran out with a stick. He got bit once, but managed to fight them off.”
Animal control officers said they would do a report and have the dogs quarantined, she said. “That’s all we heard,” she said.
Staff writer Rick Rothacker contributed.